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Dunkin’ Adding Caffeine Boost Because 2020 Was Absolute Trash

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Dunkin’ press photo.

Dunkin’ is betting on coffee being the next big trend in caffeinated beverages. The company announced this week that it is offering new “Extra Charged” hot or iced coffees that include 20% more caffeine than the chain’s normal brews by incorporating green coffee extract.

So why did this no-frills modern take on the classic “red eye” (espresso shot dumped into a cup of coffee) come about? According to Dunkin’, it’s basically because 2020 was garbage.

“Let’s be honest, many of our plans and goals for 2020 got derailed. As we head into 2021, we could all use a little something extra to help us tackle our to-dos,” Dunkin’ said in an origin story for the Extra Charged Coffee. “If you’re looking for an extra boost to help get your morning started on the right foot, or keep you runnin’ throughout a busy day, we’ve got just the drink for you. Our new Extra Charged Coffee packs 20% more caffeine than our classic Hot and Iced Coffee, while delivering the same great taste. The additional caffeine comes from green coffee extract, meaning the caffeine is extracted from the coffee bean itself before it goes through the roasting process.”

Regarding the 20% bump, a medium (14-ounce) cup of normal Dunkin’ brew contains about 210 mg of caffeine, while a medium iced coffee contains about 297 mg. The Extra Charge, then, would bump a medium hot brew up to 252 mg of caffeine, while a medium iced would jump to 356 mg. By comparison, a double-shot of Starbucks espresso is estimated to contain 150 mg.

To cloud the perspective of these numbers even further, we can turn to the recently updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which offers this utterly useless double-negative guideline for caffeine consumption: “For healthy adults, the FDA has cited 400 milligrams per day of caffeine as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.”

Happy New Year!

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